Full Tilt Poker Alternatives : Workaround and Solutions

Many Full Tilt players probably woke up this morning extremely angry once they realized that their favorite poker website is no longer up and running. Even though there are plenty of Full Tilt alternatives around the net that are still servicing US customers, the shock value alone from the actions of the US government has made just about everyone take notice. The charges that are being broadcast through cyberspace are alarming to say the least; accusations like embezzlement, wire fraud, and a conspiracy to defraud the United States government are certainly not crimes to be taken lightly. We’ve dug a little bit deeper into the whole Full Tilt scandal, however, and this is what we’ve found-


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The UIGEA

This whole fiasco starts will a small piece of legislation that was piggybacked through Congress under the Safe Port Act of 2006; the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. The law stated that US financial institutions were forbidden from transferring money to or from any type of online gaming website; it made no difference if it was bingo, horse racing, poker, or a full casino. This document was simply a creative way for legislators to try and block players from gambling online within the United States without actually making it illegal.

Why didn’t Congress simply say that it was illegal, you ask? States like New Jersey and Nevada have already taken those types of stances against internet gambling, and if you think about it hard enough then you would probably understand the motives behind these regulations. The states that see huge incomes from land-based casinos do not want online gambling because it would hurt their tax revenues. Likewise, the Federal government has not banned online gambling because they are still trying to think up ways to regulate and tax US players.

The Counter-Maneuvers of Full Tilt and Other Casinos

For all practical purposes, the UIGEA was a ridiculous document that had little effect on the online gaming industry. Gamblers could choose from one of a dozen or more ways to transfer money to an online casino without actually using their banking accounts; in many cases they would actually be able to send and receive money much faster than before the legislation went into effect. Suddenly 3rd party websites began popping up all over cyberspace that could act as a middleman between US banks and the worldwide casinos, and since they were not based inside the US there was nothing the government could do about it.

Other gamblers used their credit or debit cards as ways to bypass the UIGEA. Many credit card issuers are located in Canada and other parts of the world, so those deposits would process directly with casinos and poker rooms without any problem. Some casinos also accepted bank wires in order to expedite their customers…and that’s where this story turns ugly.

Where Full Tilt and Other Poker Rooms Went Wrong

Instead of simply telling their customers to use a 3rd party website or find other creative ways to make a deposit, Full Tilt Poker allegedly went ahead and accepted some forms of payment that violated the UIGEA. Sources show that this process is in fact very easy to do; many poker websites set up financial accounts that were not registered as a gambling business (which is common…many businesses have corporate names that do not reveal their industry practice). So in essence, big banks would not transfer money directly to Full Tilt Poker, but they would transfer the funds to an account that was owned by a company named FTP Enterprises.

The problem for sites similar to Full Tilt is that online gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry. It would be one thing if these financial accounts were seeing a few thousand dollars of revenue deposited into them per month, but often the total amount of transactions reached millions of dollars coming and going on a weekly basis. Once the government began investigating and saw the trail lead back to Full Tilt and several of the other big name poker rooms around the net, you get to where we are right now…several websites seized by the government and a lot of angry players.

The Next Steps for Full Tilt Poker

It is unclear what will happen within the next several weeks when it comes to Full Tilt Poker. On one hand, they are owned by a foreign entity that is not bound by US laws. That means that the seizure of the website by the Department of Justice could be considered illegal, which is exactly what the owners of Full Tilt are saying. On the other hand, the US government claims that since they ignored banking regulations and targeted United States citizens, they have every right to shut the website down. There are also many other charges involved with this case so it is anyone’s guess when (if ever) Full Tilt Poker will be back online.

Best Site Similar to Full Tilt Poker

In the meantime, many US gamblers are turning to Sportsbook Poker as their online Full Tilt alternative. Sportsbook.com has served US clients in cyberspace since the early 1990’s and they have never had any compliance issues to date. In fact, their Play Aces poker room actually has one of the world’s largest subscriber bases due to their excellent stakes tables and fast-paced tournament play, so this is probably the best options for US players at this time.

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